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Airbnb helps tenant win appeal in NY rental case

A New York agency decides in favor of a man who was fined $2,400 for renting his home out on Airbnb. The city now has to pay it all back to Nigel Warren.


Airbnb has helped a New York resident successfully appeal a case that made him pay $2,400 in fines for renting out his home on the peer-to-peer rental service.

The city's Environmental Control Board filed the decision (see PDF below) dismissing the charges Thursday. The City of New York now has to give resident Nigel Warren his money back, according to the decision.

City officials initially ruled against Warren in May, saying that he violated a law that makes it illegal for property owners to rent out homes temporarily, mimicking hotel stays.

Warren had rented his room within the condo he was leasing to out-of-town tourists. The appeal board decided that because Warren's roommate, who is considered a "permanent resident," was present for the stay, it didn't violate the law.

Airbnb, which has been bumping into regulations globally while disrupting the hotel industry, celebrated the win on Friday.

"Much of the New York law is confusing, with some provisions applying to certain buildings and not to others. But this shared space provision was crystal clear," David Hantman, Airbnb's Head of Global Public Policy, wrote in a blog post. "We intervened in this case because the initial decision on Nigel's case was so clearly wrong, and we are pleased to see that the board agreed."

City of New York v. Abe Carrey

Update, 3 p.m. PT: Adds more information and quote from Airbnb.